Bahrain mourner killed in funeral march clash

Authorities fire tear gas, bird shot as mourners gather for a funeral procession for 31-year-old man killed in first Egypt-inspired protest in Gulf.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 15, 2011 10:18
2 minute read.
Riot police chase Bahraini demonstrators.

Bahrain protests 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Security forces in Bahrain fired tear gas and bird shot Tuesday on mourners gathered for a funeral procession for a man killed in the first Egypt-inspired protests to reach the Gulf, killing at least one other person and sharply raising the chances for further unrest.

Officials at Bahrain's Salmaniya Medical Complex — the meeting point for thousands of mourners — said a 31-year-old man died from injuries from bird shot fired during the melee in the hospital's parking lot. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak to journalists.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Clinton: Iranians deserve same rights as we saw in Egypt
Calls for reform intensify throughout Arab world
Yemenis stage new protests to oust their president
Jordanian FM denies regime is in danger of Egypt-like fall

The latest death raises the possibility of more rallies and challenges to the ruling Sunni monarchy in Bahrain — a strategic Western ally and home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet.

After the clash, riot police eventually withdrew and allowed the funeral cortege for 21-year-old Ali Abdulhadi Mushaima to proceed from the hospital, the main state-run medical facility in Bahrain's capital Manama.

Mushaima was killed Monday during clashes with security forces trying to halt marches to demand greater freedoms and political rights. At least 25 people were injured in the barrage of rubber bullets, bird shot and tear gas, family members said.

A statement from Bahrain's interior minister, Lt.-Gen. Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, expressed "sincere condolences and deep sympathy" to Mushaima's family. He stressed that the death will be investigated and charges would be filed if authorities determined excessive force was used against the protesters.



But that's unlikely to appease the protesters, whose "day of rage" coincided with major anti-government demonstrations in Iran and Yemen.

In the past week, Bahrain's rulers have attempted to undermine calls for reform by promising nearly $2,700 for each family and pledging to loosen state controls on the media.

A main Shi'ite opposition group, Al Wefaq, denounced the "bullying tactics and barbaric policies pursued by the security forces" against peaceful marchers staging the first major rallies in the Gulf since uprisings toppled long-ruling regimes in Tunisia and Egypt.

Bahrain's protesters, however, claim they do not seek to overthrow the ruling monarchy but want greater political freedoms and sweeping changes in how the country is run. The demands include transferring more decision-making powers to the parliament and breaking the monarchy's grip on senior government posts.

Bahrain's majority Shi'ites — about 70 percent of the population — have long complained of systemic discrimination by the Sunni rulers.

Bahrain's Sunni leaders point to parliamentary elections as a symbol of political openness in the nation of about 525,000 citizens. The 40-seat chamber — one of the few popularly elected bodies in the Gulf — has 18 opposition lawmakers.

But many Sunnis in Bahrain also are highly suspicious of Shi'ite activists, claiming they seek to undermine the state and have cultural bonds with Shi'ite heavyweight Iran. An ongoing trial in Bahrain accuses 25 Shi'ites of plotting against the country's leadership.

In Kuwait, opposition groups had called for an anti-government protest last week, but shifted the date to March 8 after the resignation of the country's scandal-tainted interior minister.

Related Content

July 19, 2018
Sources close to Netanyahu: Trump knew the Iran nuclear deal was bad

By HERB KEINON, MICHAEL WILNER